Getting your first credit card is a major accomplishment and a big financial commitment. You may already understand how credit cards work and how to use them, but there are many key factors that you should know. Before getting started, learning all about credit cards will save you money and help you maintain a good credit score when used wisely. There are a few things that first-time credit card users should be aware of, such as how credit works, what to do if they have a poor credit history, and what to watch out for when selecting a credit card. The following are the key points to be aware of before you pick and start using your credit cards.
Credit – meaning and working
Credit can be defined as the simple capability to borrow money and make transactions under a contract without spending the money directly from your wallet. You are expected to return the money at a specific time under this valid contract. The borrower receives funds from a bank, with the agreement that they will return the money. Usually, interest will be charged on this money and must be paid. This is the fee for taking out a loan from the institution. Lenders take into account your credit history and several other variables to evaluate if you qualify for the loan. A big aspect of creating financial stability is establishing and keeping creditworthiness.
Important Terms and Conditions Related to Credit Cards
When applying for your first credit card, educating yourself on its terms is a good idea.
- Annual fee: Yearly membership fees for card services.
- Purchase APR: Rate of interest charged per year for your transactions.
- Credit limit: Maximum amount you can loan on your credit card.
- Interest charges: Interest is charged for allowing you to pay a portion of the bill rather than the whole sum right away.
- Late payment fee: You may have to pay a late charge if you are late to bill payment or don’t pay the minimum amount on time.
- Minimum payment: Payment amount to keep in your account current.
- Due date: Your amount should be paid to the credit card company on this date, or you might end up paying a late fee.
- Billing statement: A document generated at the end of a month showing your account activity, such as purchases, fees, interests, due date and minimum payment.
The terms and conditions contain information you agree to when using the card. Therefore it is important to be aware of them completely. Take your time to study the card’s APR range, relevant fees, the rewards programme, and all other important information. Also, ensure that you read the fine print in the terms and conditions.
Rewards on Credit Cards
If you have good credit, you can get approval for a rewards credit card. Cash back and travel points are the two primary types of credit card rewards. Cashback is a basic idea. You receive a portion of each purchase as a refund. It offers a little discount. Travel benefits are available as well. With a travel credit card, you can accumulate points or miles that can be used for travel-related purchases such as accommodation, airfare, and cruises.
Credit Card Bill Payments
Paying off the entire amount on a credit card each month when the statement comes in is the greatest strategy for managing a card. You don’t want interest charges to accumulate on your bills, and timely, full payment means no interest.
We all love tools which make our daily activities easier, and one such tool is a credit card app. These apps can be downloaded on mobile phones and tablets. The top credit card payment apps have features including building your credit card score, invoicing, digital receipts, receiving discounts and accounting interfaces.
Although using credit cards for the first time can be intimidating, it is an important step in learning about credit. Start small. Consider getting a simple credit card with no annual fee to use initially. Building a strong payment history is important since it will support your future eligibility for premium rewards cards.